PG, 2 hrs. 41 min. Directed by: Chris Columbus. Release Date: Nov 15, 2002. DVD Release Date: Apr 11, 2003.
****REPOSTED FROM THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH NEW EDITS AND COMMENTS****
A whomping willow of a great family action flick.
The first thing that Chamber of Secrets deserves props for is that it fixed what was probably my biggest complaint about its predecessor: the choppy adaptation in the first thirty minutes. It seems as if the original film in the series was all about the rush to get to Hogwarts, whereas this film presented a problem, because the journey to Hogwarts sets the stage for everything to follow. As a result, I felt this was a much better adaptation than Sorcerer's Stone was.
The folks working creature effects also are going to get some rave reviews, as do the set designers because Hogwarts continues to be amazing, and they seem to make improvements to new parts of the school as they appear in the series. These guys are the ones really responsible for making magic.
For younger kids, the vaguely scary scenes from the first film have been replaced by something truly capable of causing fear. The final scenes here are pretty dark and a bit violent... but then, this is a criticism the novels have been receiving since the first book in the series was released, so it comes to no surprise that the movies adopted some of that.